CRESCO, IA/RUSHFORD, MN, March 23, 2017— MiEnergy Cooperative was one of 11 electric cooperatives awarded the Cooperative Purpose Award by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The award is given for outstanding contributions to improving the quality of life and purpose of the cooperatives in their communities.
In 2013, Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative (SMEC) was formed by 12 electric distribution cooperatives to be the single point of contact for the purchase of Alliant Energy’s Minnesota electric service territory. SMEC engaged their local communities and business leaders through a grassroots campaign to educate them on the cooperative advantage. In 2015, the acquisition was finalized and SMEC welcomed more than 43,000 new members into the cooperative community.
“The 12 cooperatives of SMEC perfectly exemplify the sixth cooperative principle, cooperation among cooperatives,” said Mel Coleman, NRECA president. “I applaud SMEC for their perseverance, leadership and concern for community.”
The award was presented at NRECA’s 75th Annual Meeting in San Diego on March 1 with more than 5,500 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation in attendance.
MiEnergy Cooperative is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative and is the result of a merger between Hawkeye REC, of Cresco, Iowa and Tri-County Electric Cooperative, of Rushford, Minn. in 2017. It maintains 5,700 miles of power lines covering most of Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties in Minnesota and Chickasaw, Howard and Winneshiek counties in Iowa. The cooperative also serves small pockets bordering those counties. It provides electricity to more than 18,600 members in northeastern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota. MiEnergy is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.
About Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative
Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative (SMEC) was formed by 12 electric distribution cooperatives as a single point of contact for the proposed purchase of electric service territory in southern Minnesota from Alliant Energy. The 12 SMEC member cooperatives are BENCO Electric Cooperative, Brown County Rural Electrical Association, Federated Rural Electric, Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, MiEnergy Cooperative (formerly Tri-County Electric Cooperative), Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative, Nobles Cooperative Electric, People’s Energy Cooperative, Redwood Electric Cooperative, Sioux Valley Energy, South Central Electric and Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric.
About National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.